At a recent Scenthound dog wash event in Abacoa, we chatted with a dog owner who confessed to a very common (read: we've all been there) bit of misinformation: he told us that it was only recently that he learned that matted fur isn't just unsightly but that it can really *@!*% hurt! If you didn't know this, take heart: most folks don't. Again: we've all been there, just another one of those "ooh, I'm embarrassed to say I didn't know that!" moments.
But back to the matting issue: yep, it's true. Mats can be really painful! When debris gets caught in your dog's fur, or even when a tangle forms among his undercoat and topcoat, the knot can grow and tighten so much that it starts to pull up hard on the skin, even pinching it! Imagine someone grabbing a hank of your hair and twisting it up to the roots -- and then twisting some more. Catch our drift?
So yeah: let's all agree that mats are bad. Unfortunately, they're common and they're all too easily formed. How to prevent them? Here are a few tips:
1) Feed your pup a high-quality food. Find out more here.
2) Give her a daily fish oil (or other Omega 3 fatty acid) supplement; olive oil and flaxseed oil are other great choices.
3) Brush and comb regularly (here's how) and know your dog's breed's needs and requirements.
4) Bathe her regularly -- but only after you've brushed and removed any mats, 'cause washing mats will only make them worse. And conditioner won't magically make mats disappear on its own. (Sorry!)
If your pup has matted fur, give us a call. We'll help you decide the best and least painful way to remove the mats. Often that involves simply shaving the fur down in spots or all over in order to minimize discomfort and stress. We can clean your pup up and then help you maintain from here on out! Remember: mats = pain. No mats = happy dog (and happy you)!